The newly coined term "Darknet Parliament” has become the latest catchphrase among cybercriminals trying to prove their clout – and security insiders are loving it.
If you’ve never heard of the term before, don’t fret; neither had the rest of the world until Friday, when the notorious pro-Russian hacker group Killnet introduced the phrase in one of its Telegram threat posts.
Soon after, the Twitterverse seemed to come alive with security folk who couldn’t help but wonder about the ‘never-before-heard-of’ moniker for a ‘never-before-heard-of’ hacker government organization.
The post refers to a previous threat by Killnet, made roughly 24 hours earlier, to decimate Europe’s banking system starting Friday with the help of fellow pro-Russian hacker gangs, Anonymous Sudan and REvil.
Anonymous Sudan and Revil are presumably part of this Darknet Parliament.
The Killnet post reads somewhat like a government briefing report:
× 72 hours ago, three heads of hacker groups from Russia and Sudan held a regular meeting in the DARKNET parliament and came to a common decision:
× SOLUTION №0191
- Today, we are starting to impose sanctions on the European banking transfer systems SEPA, IBAN, WIRE, SWIFT, WISE.
Threat intelligence platform FalconFeedsio was the first to post about how ‘Darknet Parliament’ quickly emerged as a trending keyword on Twitter among curious security insiders.
“DARKNET parliament has emerged as a trending keyword among Threat Analysts following the revelation of a meeting by the hacking group KillNet," the tweet said.
“The meeting involved three group heads, including representatives from Revil and Anonymous Sudan,” FalconFeedsio said.
Now although some on social media may find the term amusing, the threat by the trio of hackers is quite real.
Anonymous Sudan re-posted this message on its Telegram channel Friday.
“Russian hackers announced a massive attack on the Western financial system within the next 48 hours. The first task is to paralyze Swift,” the post stated.
"According to our information, guys from the KillNet, Revil, and Anonymous Sudan groups have united in this campaign," it said.
"They plan to "repel the maniacs according to the formula: no money - no weapons - no Kiev [sic] regime," the group said, referring to the war in Ukraine and allied support from the West.
"Among the targets: European and US banks, SWIFT, and the US Federal Reserve System," the post continued.
Killnet had announced the attacks were underway by late Friday morning, but Cybernews has not experienced any issues loading the Swift website at the time of this report.
There also have not been any reports of Swift users having issues with the global digital payment platform.
Swift is the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services, facilitating payments for over 11,000 financial institutions in over 200 countries, according to their website.
Other financial targets in the latest warning include SEPA, another European payment system; IBAN, the standard international bank account numbering system; the money transfer service Wire; and the foreign exchange tech company Wise.
The hacker group UserSec, which has worked with Killnet and Anonymous Sudan in the past targeting NATO, also re-posted the Dark Parliament’s warning, likely indicating that it will join in the attacks.
Killnet: the joke is on you
Since publishing this report, a member of the Cybernews team happened to notice Killnet posting a message the next day to its Telegram followers, divulging the meaning behind the newfangled phrase.
It appears the phrase “Darknet Parliament” came about after a night of drinking – or at least that's what Killnet claims in its message.
The hackers posted the first few paragraphs of the Cybernews article, followed by this comment we translated exactly from Russian to English:
“When a drunk came up with a phrase for the sake of trolling - the sarcasm of the world community and got into the media 😌”
A more coherent translation for us English-speaking Westerners was provided by that same Cybernews team member.
Loosely interpreted, the comment more accurately reads:
"When you drunkenly come up with a phrase to sarcastically troll the Western society, and it gets picked up by mainstream media," our teammate graciously elucidated.
So, maybe the Darknet Parliament isn't a thing after all?
We’ll have to leave that interpretation up to you, our readers.
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